9, June 2021

ESA Open Invitation to Tender: 1-10861
Open Date: 02/06/2021 11:52 CEST
Closing Date: 21/07/2021 13:00 CEST

Cost reductions on system level are targeted by improving the solar array metrics, namely the specific power (W/kg) and the power to stowed volume (kW/m3) ratio. Increasing the latter, allows to reduce the cost by increasing the number of satellites that can be allocated in the same launch.The strategy to achieve these targets is not only based on increasing the efficiency, but also on reducing the mass of the solar cell, the mass of the photovoltaic assembly and the solar array mass by means of flexible concepts. For doing so, the ultimate goal is to achieve a high efficient, ultra-thin and flexible photovoltaic assembly, using ultra-thin solar cells in the range of state-of-the-art efficiencies (30%). Nowadays, there is no flexible photovoltaic assembly based on thin flexible solar cells available in the market in Europe.The main objective of this activity is to obtain a Photovoltaic Assembly incorporatingthin solar cells, with a thickness in the range of 20 to 80 microns (a technology that has been developed in the precursor activity”Process Development for Ultra-thin Solar Cells” T703-501EP). For doing this, part of the activity will aim at finding the best process to manufacture a thin and flexible solar cell for its final integration into the flexible PVA; as by product, this activity will contribute to reduce the amount of Germanium sent to space as this is a material included in the List of Critical Raw Materials from the European Commission.For a flexible PVA a number of elements will potentially need a development such as e.g. welding, interconnectors, laydown processes, diode assemblies, harness and front side protection either with cover glass or alternative solutions (e.g. lamination).This activity encompasses the following tasks:- Manufacture thin and flexible solar cells- Develop flexible PVA elements- Breadboard manufacturing of flexible PVA

Directorate: Directorate of Tech, Eng. Quality
Estabilishment: ESTEC
ECOS Required: No
Classified: No
Price Range: 200-500 KEURO
Contracts Officer: Franziska Isabella Erkelens-Sickinger
Initiating Service: TEC-EPG
IP Measure: N/A
Prog. Reference: E/0901-01 – Technology Developme
Tender Type: Open Competition
Technology Keywords: 3-B-III-Nuclear and Thermo-Electric Power Generator Technologies
Products Keywords: 2-J-1-a-Photovoltaic Assemblies

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